Manhattan Parental Alienation Attorney
Parental Alienation Lawyer Serving Manhattan and all of NYC
While all custody cases are terrifying to parents who love and want to protect their children, parental alienation cases are even more so. To the parent who believes his child is being turned against him, watching helplessly as he loses his connection to that which is most precious to him, as he continues to yearn for the relationship and the ability to bestow his love, affection, and guidance to the natural object of his affection, it is the apex of frustration to know that a child is just beyond reach. Though people say that the Courts will zealously protect a parent’s relationship with his child, the practical truth is that far too many have been frustrated, their rights unrequited, by the Courts when all they sought was to continue their relationship with their child. If you or a loved one is going through the estrangement of your child or children through manipulation by your ex-spouse or partner, contact a Manhattan Parental Alienation Attorney for experienced legal guidance.
Compassionate Understanding, When You Need It Most
Common wisdom claims that there is no fate worse than the death of one’s child. Being alienated from a child, however, is more painful. In both, the child is lost to the parent. However because the child is alive and just out of reach, the parent–ever hopeful, as every parent is encouraged to be–does not and cannot begin the grieving process. As a result, the parent remains in this purgatory, unable to grieve and unable to heal, the suffering continuing inexorably unabated. Every well-wisher spouting the trite platitude of “Don’t worry, children always come back,” heaps more misery upon the parent, first because most children do not return and even if they do, the relationship is never properly restored, the lost time and damaged relationship impossible to recoup, and second, because by encouraging the parent to keep hope alive, they deny the parent the ability to grieve and move on with his own life. Thus, the trauma continues unabated.
The child, too, is fundamentally injured and emotionally impacted. The child is obviously denied the love, affection, and guidance of one of its only two parents. Moreover, a child who is taught that one parent is all evil, knowing, as every child does, that he contains aspects of each of his parents, must now perpetually struggle against the bad-parent side of himself. He cannot fully accept himself. The internal tension created within him is insurmountable for many. Thus, alienation is a form of child abuse.
Conversely, the parent who is unjustifiably accused of alienation feels beleaguered by the former spouse who seems to be reaching out from beyond the grave of divorce to continue the control and domineering that so often made the marriage intolerable.
To the judge facing these conflicting claims and the evidence supporting each, these are impossible situations that require oft-unavailable Solomonic patience and wisdom.
Parental Alienation Cases Require Unique Ability and Finesse
These cases are therefore difficult to litigate and require great skill. Unfortunately, too many judges and even psychologists frequently avoid or delay making tough decisions. These cases, therefore, can take even more time to resolve than the typical drawn-out family-law cases. This time-lapse further prejudices the alienated parent, first because the alienation becomes entrenched and second because the older the child is the more likely the Court will defer to the child’s wishes. So the passage of time does not favor the alienated parent and time is of the essence in these cases. A parent, hoping to restore his relationship, cannot defer for some later time the battles that must be fought today or relinquished entirely.
Judges sometimes suggest therapy for these situations. Typical therapy, however, can be detrimental and make the situation even worse while providing a veneer of helpfulness and causing yet more time to elapse. Traditional therapy is designed to help a patient uncover their true feelings. In parental alienation cases, however, the child’s reluctance to see the parent is genuinely held. The ambivalence or hostility to the targeted parent is genuine. Traditional therapy will only further ossify these feelings. A special type of therapy is required to overcome alienation programming.
Allegations of Alienation or Interference
In a case involving allegations of alienation or interference with the child’s relationship with the other parent, the evaluation should address the following:
- Each parent’s understanding of the history and nature of each parent’s relationship with the children during the marriage and post-separation;
- Assuming a reluctance of the children to see one parent, each parent’s understanding of each parent’s contribution to this resistance;
- Each parent’s suggestions for ways to resolve this resistance;
- If there is no current resistance of the children to see one parent, an understanding of why one parent is alleging the risk of alienation and the other parent’s response to those allegations;
- Whether or not there has been a history of abuse or violence (or allegations of this) and each parent’s understanding of the extent to which the children have been exposed to high conflict or violence in the relationship;
- Evidence that the child custody evaluator assessed for and thoroughly analyzed the aspects of parental gatekeeping;
- Evidence that the child custody evaluator distinguished between the effects of gatekeeping (if any) and the dynamics of alienation.
Getting The Help You Need
Cases of parental alienation can be difficult, complicated and expensive. A targeted parent requires a superior Manhattan Family Law Lawyer who is adept at meeting the subtleties of these cases. Time is of the essence. A parent who is not committed to succeeding might be better off not starting down this path. Embarking on it requires commitment and devotion.
Chaim has been litigating alienation cases for over two decades. He published one of the leading articles on the subject, “Father? What Father? Parental Alienation and its Effects on Children”. It was so good that the New York State Appellate Division republished it in its Law Guardian Reporter. It has been cited by judges, one of whom ordered an alienating parent incarcerated and another who transferred custody to the targeted parent citing Chaim’s article. Chaim has helped fathers get their children back, prompting one father to remark, “Thank you, Chaim. You gave my daughter back her childhood. She’s now smiling and laughing again.”
Contact a Skilled Manhattan Parental Alienation Attorney Today
Call Chaim to discuss your situation with him. If appropriate, he will invite you into his office, discuss your situation and, with you, develop a course of action to restore your relationship and protect your child.
For more information on parental alienation, go to our Parental Alienation Resources page.